President calls for widespread response to tree planting festival hinh anh 1President Tran Dai Quang (fourth, right) and officials plant trees at the relic site where late President Ho Chi Minh visited workers of the Deo Nai coal mining site on March 30, 1959 (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang has called on people to plant trees according to their conditions, noting that it is vital for each country to simultaneously ensure economic growth and environmental protection.

He made the appeal at the launch of a tree planting festival at the environmental recovery area of the Deo Nai Coal Joint Stock Company, an affiliate of the Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Ltd., in Cam Pha city, the northern province of Quang Ninh, on February 2.

In his speech, he said on November 28, 1959, the Nhan dan (People) newspaper published an article entitled “Tree planting festival” written by then President Ho Chi Minh. The article analysed the importance of planting trees to the country and each people and called for all people’s engagement in the work.

Since then, the tree planting festival has become a custom practiced whenever a new year comes. Tree planting and afforestation activities have been conducted in a widespread and effective manner and greatly helped with environmental protection and socio-economic development in Vietnam, President Quang said.

He described forest planting and protection as increasingly important amidst global climate change, adding that concrete and practical measures should be taken to prevent deforestation so as to fuel economic growth and improve people’s living standards.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, nearly 222,000ha of land nationwide were covered by forests while 7.3 billion USD worth of forest products were exported in 2016.

A number of mechanisms and policies which combine forest protection with social welfare ensuring were issued, thereby promoting forestry restructuring. Forestry was a big contributor to the expansion of the whole agricultural sector, the ministry reported.

Also on February 2, President Quang visited a national relic site where late President Ho Chi Minh visited workers of the Deo Nai coal mining site on March 30, 1959.

The same day, Quang visited officials and civil servants of Quang Ninh province on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

He said as a province with a long borderline and coast, Quang Ninh must pay special attention to reinforcing defence-security in order to firmly safeguard the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. It needs to thoroughly grasp the Party and State’s foreign policy to join neighbouring China in building a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.-VNA